A Fun Family Opportunity!

Calling all budding actors and actresses,

Looking for something different to do?

We have an exciting opportunity for a family this Friday, 9th of April!!!!!

Therese at the Ring of Gullion is seeking a family, (Mum and/or Dad, 2/3 kids) who would be willing to take part in a short 1 min video clip. This will be used to promote the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), work in the area.

Filming will conform to Covid restrictions, should take about 30 minutes and will take place at the Giant’s Lair, Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Friday @9 am.

If you are interested please contact Miss Mulkerns or Therese Hamill of the Ring Of Gullion, ASAP.

Email addresses:





Collaborating from Home!

Collaborating from Home!

Who said group and collaborative work wasn’t possible during Lock down?…. It was no problem to our IT savvy P6 and P7 pupils!

As part of their “live” online RE lessons, pupils were divided into Groups and given a link to a Google JamBoard. Each group were tasked to create their own visual display of “The Beatitudes” which they had been learning about.

Pupils could see each other’s online presence and through the use of “Sticky Notes”, they communicated and negotiated with their JamBoard partners. Suggestions were made, tasks assigned and the overall appearance of their combined work agreed upon.

We were delighted with their combined efforts, why not click on the link to see for yourself the amazing collaborative work completed whilst physically distanced, well done to everyone!


Online Conference for Parents

The North West College have announced today on “World Autism Awareness Day” that they are hosting a FREE online conference aimed at carers & parents of young people with autism. It will look specifically at moving into and through the teenage years, with many speakers covering a range of topics. A link to their bios is given below. It takes place on Thursday, 29th of April 9:30 am to 3:30 pm 

For more a programme of speakers, topics covered and to register follow this link  bit.ly/2QSZOa2.

For information on the speakers click here: https://www.nrc.ac.uk/images/uploads/Autistic_Identity_Moving_Through_The_Teenage_Years_Speaker_Bios1.pdf

Stations of the Cross by P6/7

P6/7 have been learning about the Stations of the Cross and last week visited St Mary’s Church to complete some research as to what each of the 14 Station represents. They made some sketches whilst in the Chapel and these are put together in the video linked below as a reflection for everyone on this Good Friday, as we know many will not be able to visit the Church. We hope you enjoy and wish everyone a peaceful and happy Easter.

From P6/7


Our First Assembly of 2021!

Our First Assembly of 2021!

It has been a very long time since we all prayed together, but a blink of sunshine on Friday provided us with this rare moment!

We gathered and prayed for all those connected to our school who are unwell, for all the families who have lost a loved one since we last met and for each and every boy, girl and member of staff, as they settle back into their classes and friendships after such an extended period of time away.

Master Mc Donnell congratulated everyone on the work they completed through Seesaw and Google Classrooms and thanked Parents, Grandparents, all who helped and supported our boys and girls during a tough period of Lock-down and home schooling.

The well deserved Easter break beckons, ( just one more day for pupils) and the Staff and Pupils of St Mary’s take this opportunity to wish the wider school community a very Happy Easter.

“Back from the Brink”

Photo by Marie Mc Cartan

We know many of our boys and girls enjoy walking on Slieve Gullion’s slopes and on their walks some have been lucky enough to have encountered a red squirrel. A lucky few, have been fortunate enough to meet the conversationalists whilst they have been out recording and monitoring the pine martin population. So, we thought you might all like to know about a documentary on tonight, Sunday 28th, of March @ 6:30 pm on RTE 1. The programme is called “Back from the  Brink”, and will feature some of the red squirrels and pine martins from Slieve Gullion in a documentary about conservation successes across Europe.

Over lock down in the coldest winter weather the “Ring of Gullion and Cooley, Red Squirrel Group” put out a call for donations to buy food (peanuts) for the squirrels.  A donation from our Erasmus funding on behalf of all the pupils and wider school community of St Mary’s was made. So, tonight we can all watch with pride in the knowledge that St Mary’s has played a small part in this success story!

Congratulations to everyone involved, (especially Marie Mc Cartan for the wonderful photos above), we look forward to tonight’s programme and chatting about it tomorrow.

Reminder of Calendar

Dear Parent/Guardian,

A reminder of the school calendar for the remainder of the school year. Please remember that 2 non pupil days were moved from 18th and 19th of March to facilitate a uninterrupted return to school for Nursery to P3 when their return for 2 weeks was first announced. These days were then allocated to the Tues 3oth and Wed 31st of March (Holy Week) and will remain as Staff Days.


P4-P7 Return to School

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I wish to thank you for the dedication and commitment you have shown in following the programme of online learning provided over this past number of months. I am very aware of the emotional impact that home learning has had on many and the provision of such learning has had on staff. Hopefully we have reached the end of this arrangement and can progress towards a more normal future.

Following on from the announcement by the Education Minister, Peter Weir on Tuesday 16th March, I write to remind you of procedures and protocols for the return of all children to school on Monday 22nd March.

In relation to returning to school we must continue to observe guidelines to reduce the threat of any further outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus

School Day

Four drop-off and pick-up points will remain:

  1. Nursery car park for a Nursery child and older siblings
  2. Front on the school for Year 1& 2 children and older siblings
  3. Main school car park for Year 3 & 4 children and older siblings
  4. Ti Chulainn car park where children can enter school grounds at the green house entrance for year 5, 6 and 7 children.

We will be asking children to come into school between 8.45 am and 9.30 am. This should allow the children to filter into school.

Classes will operate in Social bubbles as far as possible. Dinners times will remain as normal but only those taking school dinners will eat in the Dining Hall, where pupils will be seated in their class bubbles. Normal procedures for Nursery dinners will remain, were Nursery pupils will be served dinner in their own Classroom.

Break times and lunchtimes will be arranged in a manner that will ensure that just members of that class are playing together in a Social Bubble in the playground, each class will be assigned a separate play area.

We will continue to insist that children wash their hands at key times in the school day – when they come in, at break-time, before lunchtime, after lunchtime and before home-time.

We will be working within the Social Distancing advised by the Education Authority.

Normal pick-up times will be maintained:

1.30 pm for Nursery

2 pm for P1- P3

3 pm for P4 – P7

 Pupils uniform, school bags and homework

Pupils can attend school in uniform or PE kit. They should not bring in school bags but can take in a pencil case which is to remain in school. Pupils cannot be sharing their equipment with others.  Pupils should bring in a packed lunch in a lunch box or bag and a water bottle.

Cash handling in school

Payments should be placed in a sealed envelope and submitted to the class teacher by your child.

Visitors/parents to the school

There will be no visitors/Parents permitted into the school until further notice.

School Dinners.

All payments should be made on the first day of the week. £2.50 for Nursery and £2.60 for all other children.

Afterschool clubs and activities

There will be no after-school activities or games until further notice.

After school supervision is available from 2- 4 pm for those who need to avail of this service. For Nursery children 1.30 to 2 pm £1

All others from 2 pm to 3 pm £3

 School buses

Will be running as normal.

Yours sincerely,

Peter McDonnell


P7 Parents/Guardians

Reminder to P7 Parents/Guardians

Tuesday 16 March at 4 pm is the deadline for submitting an online application for a post primary school place for your child.  If you have not yet applied please do so now.

Your child may be limited in the choice of schools available if you do not apply by this deadline.

If you are having difficulty making your application, please contact the Admissions’ Helpdesk which is open until 8 pm on Monday 15 March on 028 95985595

or email postprimaryadmissions@eani.org.uk